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Doctor MacDonald had seemed about to speak again; then
had turned away.

Mr. Munn had dropped the acorn into his pocket,

The acorn was in his pocket now. Tonight he again wore
the old black coat which he had worn the night before, at
the schoolhouse at Grayson's Crossing. He reached into
his pocket and felt in his fingers the small, slick, ovoidal

When they turned off the pike into the lane, one of the
men inquired, "Hadn't we better leave the horses here?"

" No," Mr. Munn said in an ordinary tone.

Up the lane a dog barked, and then again, closer. Then it
dashed into the open, stopped, and barked again. Its shape
was vague in the darkness.

" The bastard!" one of the men exclaimed.

Three of the men slipped off their horses, and passed their
bridles to be held by others still mounted. They began to
fumble on the ground beside the lane. The dog continued to
bark. One of them struck a match.

" Put that light out," Mr. Munn ordered.

The flame went out,

One of the men straightened up, and stepped slowly toward
the dog. The other men waited. The first man held at his
side a short, club-like stick which he had found. The dog
barked twice, circling the man, and then ran in close and
veered off. The man made no motion. He let the club hang
loosely by his side. The dog again rushed in. The man took
one long stride toward the dog, the club whipped over, and
for an instant, the instant before the sodden crack of the
impact of wood on flesh, the forms seemed to be almost
merged in the darkness. Then the man swung back, and the
dog, with a kind of contorted jerking of all four legs, tried
to shove itself along. It tried to stand, but could not. It had
not yelped, not even at the instant of the blow. The moaning
sound that it now made was very similar to the moan of a
human being.

The man lifted the club and again struck. The wood cracked.